How to Blanch Tomatoes (And Then Peel Them Effortlessly)

how to blanch a tomato

Every year, usually in August, I round up a ridiculously large portion of local tomatoes and embark upon a Sauce Making Extravaganza.  But before I can start pumping out that savory sauce, my tomatoes need to be peeled.  Have you ever tried to peel 30 pounds of tomatoes BY HAND with a PARING KNIFE?  Yeah, that’s usually how I roll.  And you know what?


Hand cramps, back cramps, leg cramps.  Hours (literally) of peeling.  Wrinkled fingers, prune-y beyond belief.

So the other day I came across this post that my friend Steph put up on her blog.  She was making tomato sauce too and blanched her tomatoes in order to peel them easily.  I read through her post and while it did look pretty simple, I wasn’t sure if it would actually speed up my usual process.

Well, today I gave it a try.  And you know what?  IT WAS THE EASIEST THING EVER AND OH-EM-GEE did it cut out a ton of manual labor.  I will forever blanch my tomatoes prior to making sauce.  Peeling those tomatoes went from backbreaking to only mildly annoying.

Ready to blanch?

Here we go!

1.  Gather your pile of tomatoes.

box of tomatoes

2.  Fill a large pot with water and set it to boil on the stove.  While you are waiting for the water to boil, you can core the tops of your tomatoes and score them on the bottom.

cored tomato

scored tomato

3.  Just before you begin blanching, fill a large bowl or tub with cold water and lots of ice.

4.  Add several tomatoes to your pot of boiling water (I added 7-8 tomatoes at a time) for 60 seconds.

water boiling

boiling tomatoes

5.  After about 60 seconds, remove tomatoes from the boiling water and submerge them immediately in the ice bath for about 30 seconds (or until they are cool to the touch).

tomatoes in ice bath

6.  Repeat the above steps until you have blanched all of your tomatoes.

7.  After blanching, the skins will all but LEAP right off the tomatoes!  Simply pull the peels right on off – it’s borderline magical.

peeling tomatoes

blanched and peeled tomato

The carnage:

tomato skins

8.  Wipe a tear away from your eye as you gaze at your glorious, peeled tomatoes.